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Disrespectful or Not? Django Producers Release Slave Action Figures

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Is it offensive or just part of the business model?  That’s for every individual to judge.  But it’s probably not going to sit well that after the success of the recent Quentin Tarantino film, “Django Unchained,” corporations are seeking to make a profit by offering action figures from the film.  Karu F. Daniels at The Daily Beast writes about the new action figures, which are going to fatten the pockets of both Tarantino and his business partner, Harvey Weinstein.

The National Entertainment Collectibles Association, Inc. (NECA) has offered a list of products, including eight action figures, some of which are slave characters in the film.  The figures are the ones played by actors Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, Leonardo DiCaprio, James Remar and Christoph Waltz.

It’s easy to say that the existence of action figures does not mean that the directors were seeking to be disrespectful of slavery.  After all, the figures represent the most prominent characters in the film and most good filmmakers are going to seek to profit from their business ventures.  At the same time, some things are considered sacred, and slavery is one of them.  Making a profit in this way only adds fuel to the fire for those who already question the motives of the filmmakers.   Maybe for this one, they could have shelved the action figures.  This was a film about slavery, it wasn’t Star Wars.

What do you think?

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38 Responses to Disrespectful or Not? Django Producers Release Slave Action Figures

  1. RN

    January 14, 2013 at 8:52 am

    What is sad ..besides corporate America and Americans not understanding want vs need is what we are teaching our children ,our future generation that also need to then teach a future generation .. Maybe we should stop teaching them to be better than their peers and teach them to help their peers be better, maybe we should start teaching them to be humbled by little things and give no attention to things that have no bearing on humbling anything , maybe we need to accept all of our past the good as well as the bad and allow it to do what it should do ,teach us to love,admire,respect and deeply feel for one another with compassion. Maybe we are here to know their stories not to point fingers but to embrace change that was,that is,that will be and most important that we expect from a well taught generation who understands we are all learning and improving a world that was after handed down from others who walked in their own shoes. Its time we walked in ours. (The action figures while in bad taste are a product of “productivity”. we send our kids out into the world (a world where only money matters) then we shake our heads when its not what we expected.. Not everyone can have that “bright popular” idea and in todays time we pray its not the illegal route .So what should we do? Don’t Buy It!!!.. We have come a long way we pay too much for things we don’t need maybe focus on getting Our society back to understanding we need to adapt,learn and most importantly know that being ” politically correct” on any level is NOT the answer!!

  2. Hafiz Farid

    January 7, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    Another sad but predictable action on the part of hollywood producers both black and white who have little or no respect for our ancestors and our history. I say predictable because what do we really expect when we refuse to use our own money to make our own films about our own people. Speilberg and hollywood would not allow other people to make Shindlers list, and I dont blame them. The blood and suffering of their ancestors is too sacred, as is ours, we just don’t accept it as such. We are being untrue to our ancestors and to our spirit, Dr. King once said “he who lives in spiritual untruth, lives in spiritual slavery”. When will these black hollywood actors and clebrities stop being so greedy and cowardly and invest some of their millions to tell the stories of their own people. Jamie Foxx, Denzel Washington, Halley Berry, Eddie Murphy, Will Smith all are paid millions of dollars per film, yet they sit around and wait for other folks to tell our story, isn’t it ironic that several of the recent major hollywood films about black life were produced by whites, such as; The Help, Red Tails, Lincoln, the latter clearly omitted any mention of Abraham Lincolns severest critic and one of the most famous abolitionist of the time, Frederick Douglas. I am glad to see so many conscious African Americans respond to this issue of slave dolls, were is the response and outcry from the African American stars, the token black producer, why are they not objecting? Frederick Douglas said after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed “I wonder what the new form of slavery will be?. I think it’s quite clear, 2 Chains-the mental and the money chain. Heaven help us all. Peace

  3. Princess P.

    January 7, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    What is this world coming to? Action figures from a slave movie? The idea is vile and insensitive. What has become of our society? Just disturbing that anyone would even think about manufacturing something like this? It wouldn’t sell.

  4. Latrice

    January 7, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    When QT injected humor in this movie, toys was the next logical step. All I kept reading and hearing was how good this movie was, how it was nice that a little humor was in it. What the hell could possibly be funny about slavery? Now I want Dr. Watkins to write an article titled ’3 reasons I play with toy slaves’.

  5. Peppa

    January 7, 2013 at 9:35 am

    If Jamie Foxx or Kerry Washington does not have an issue with this, then I have issues with them from now on. It is one thing to do this film to tell history, but what on earth are you selling toy slave figures? What is the reason for this other than to make a profit off of a travesty.

  6. Kirtrina

    January 7, 2013 at 9:22 am

    This is DEF NOT OK…like someone said above action figures are for “pretend play”, how do u think young children are gonna play out these actors? Not a good look…AND why are they were so anxious to capitalize on the film when Tarantino tries to act like he’s not about all that stuff?? And lastly, when Samuel Jackson played in Star Wars, you could barely find one of his action figures…but all the other Jedi characters were readily available. I find it difficult to believe they would move so quickly to make thess characters if not for the roll of slave that they did play…OPEN UR EYES PEOPLE AND C THE HYPOCRISY AND INEVITABLE RACIST ACTS THAT WILL BE “PLAYED” BY AMERICA’S CHILDREN WITH THESE TOYS…STRONGLY VOICE DIS-SATISFACTION NOW B4 THEY BEGIN PRODUCTION!!

  7. Renee

    January 7, 2013 at 6:40 am

    This is highly offensive. There are successful films about the Holocaust, such as Inglorious Bastards, The Reader, or Schindler’s List. No producer decided it was a great idea to have toys of these characters so well do it for a film about slavery? I will not defend such blatant disrespect for a brutal, vile history my ancestors experience in this country.